During the court hearing of FDU-Inkingi political prisoners that took place on Tuesday 16, April 2019, in Nyanza, the defence requested the judges to dismiss charges against his clients because confessions of guilt were obtained through torture and their arrest and detention had violated even the existing laws in Rwanda including being arrested without an arrest warrant and being kept incommunicado for weeks and forced to sign statements without a lawyer.
For example, one of the accused, Theophile Ntirutwa, was kidnapped and kept incommunicado for 18 days before the Police admitted that it had arrested him. Another accused Mr Ernest Nkiko, who was allowed to go home after the arrest, told the court that he was forced by the Police to sign a testimony given which mentioned that he saw his colleagues cross into the Democratic Republic of the Congo on a date that he had not yet started to be an employee on the petrol station at that border post. All of the prisoners have mentioned different types of torture at the hands of government security services.
We would like to recall that Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have documented different torture methods used on detainees to secure information or force confessions. Former detainees reported different techniques that include sleep deprivation, sensory deprivation, starvation, extraction of fingernails, electrocution, scalding, melting of plastic bags over the head, suffocation, burning or branding, beating, and simulated drowning through confinement in cisterns filled with rainwater. All is done in violation of national and international laws.
All the accused who appeared in court debunked the false accusations brought against them, demonstrating that their sole crime is trying to exercise their right to freedom association by joining the FDU-Inkingi political party.
The FDU-Inkingi would like to call on Rwandan government to:
• End persecution of members of FDU-Inkingi and release the 10 members of FDU-Inkingi
• Inform the public on the whereabouts of Boniface Twagirimana
• To find and punish the assassins of Anselme Mutuyimana.
We call on all peace-loving people and sponsors of the Rwanda regime to rein on President Kagame to release all political prisoners and to open the political space. The trial will resume on the 24th of April 2019.
Done in Rouen on 18 April 2019,